Qualitative market research with insights communities and online focus groups.

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Online qualitative studies allow for a deeper understanding of your target audience. Knowing the opinions, feelings, and attitudes of consumers about a product, brand, or campaign is essential in any business strategy. Analyzing different aspects of a product or service among a sample of real consumers just before its launch allows for improvements, rectification of possible flaws, or identifying whether the analyzed product fits into the market. And you can do all of this online qualitatively. Furthermore, it helps us delve into the motivations and reasons behind consumer opinions or attitudes, among other analytical aspects.

Online Qualitative Research: How to Conduct It

For carrying out this process, in the field of market research, we have various techniques of research, both quantitative and qualitative, or a mix of both. In this post, we will focus more on qualitative research techniques. In this regard, we have more traditional methods such as in-person focus groups, and we also have innovative digital techniques for conducting qualitative research, such as online focus groups and online communities.

Online Communities and Focus Groups vs. In-Person Focus Groups

Both techniques are valid for conducting qualitative market research, and the choice between them will often depend on the research objectives, social context, study requirements, the participant profiles needed, and budget, among other factors. Let’s explore some essential differences between the two techniques:

  • Online Communities, also known as virtual communities, are a market research technique that gathers a group of individuals in a digital environment to express their opinions on a specific topic digitally, guided by an online moderator. The duration of this technique can vary, from days, weeks, to months, or even longer periods, such as a year.
  • Online Focus Groups, based on the same principle of a digital platform and online moderator as online communities, also allow for in-depth interviews and activities with interactive features like group video calls. In this case, the activity can last for hours.
  • On the other hand, traditional in-person focus groups follow a similar procedure to online communities, but participants meet physically and in person.

When it comes to generating forums tailored to specific target groups or consumer types, online communities offer more flexibility, as they overcome physical and geographical barriers. Additionally, they generate more dynamic, self-unifying social discourses, unlike traditional research, where discourse unification depends more on the moderator’s intervention. Moreover, in some cases, in-person focus groups may not be able to differentiate between target groups or certain profiles due to budget constraints, geographic limitations, or scheduling issues.

Online Communities: Steps to Follow

At We are testers, we conduct online qualitative studies using our specific tools: WAT LAB for virtual communities and WAT Focus for online focus groups.

To begin the fieldwork, we identify suitable users for participating in these qualitative research studies, depending on the information objectives and study requirements.

Additionally, among the members of our community, we collect data on over 400 sociodemographic profile variables that allow us to match the required profile, offering a broad representativeness. Community participants have diverse profiles, coming from different geographic areas and time zones. We can also identify their level of involvement, dedication, and care in online collaboration, allowing us to classify them into optimal profiles for online participation.

Regarding the activities and tools used in these types of online qualitative research, interaction among participants and with the moderator can be achieved through video calls using the WAT Focus tool. Up to 8 participants can be connected simultaneously with the moderator, who will guide them in performing proposed activities, debates, tasks, and more, all in a space where they can share and comment on files in real-time. Additionally, participants can interact from a more quantitative perspective by taking periodic surveys.

Furthermore, the moderator has the option to record the call and access the results of the activities and comments later on.

If you are interested in gathering insights about your product, brand, or campaign and want to learn more about this online qualitative research technique, you can watch this video that provides a more detailed overview of the functionalities and features of our digital platform. Feel free to contact us at info@wearetesters.com or through our contact form.

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Update date 22 December, 2023

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